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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:56   #1
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My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?


This is an account of how I graduated from a string of petrol cars to a big oil burner. This report carries details of action packed pre-delivery and delivery, and the few initial challenges that I have overcome in the course of maintaining a 2012 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

The itch to go for a large SUV

In all my ownership reviews this far, you would have noticed that I have always dreamt big, targeted big, and have managed to acquire more for less – from an Air conditioned Premier Padmini in 1998 to two Toyota Corollas to a Suzuki Grand Vitara AT. Most of these machines were over 6 years old when I got them and this time, it was going to be no exception.

I’ve long wanted to own a Toyota Fortuner, but always asked myself if my low usage warranted a large diesel for an investment above INR 10 lacs. Every time, I used to get No as an answer, and this kept going on for a good 3 years. I drove a 2010 Fortuner over 750 kms in Tamilnadu in Jan 2018 and what I realized was that the car, although energizing, was equally capable of giving heart attacks due to its below average brakes.

A year after my move back to Gujarat, which I fondly call my second innings, I chanced upon a blue 2012 Fortuner 4x4 MT in Gujarat that was listed on olx for some INR 11.5 lacs. Although tempting and listed lower than ruling offer prices in Tamilnadu, I wasn’t too sure if this was worthwhile pursuing for reasons that I have mentioned above.

Window - shopping at Ahmedabad

One Sunday, in Aug-2019, I saw two Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUVs, one 2013 done 70,000km listed at INR 10 lacs and another 2017, done 1,00,000km listed at INR 12 lacs on Cars24 in Ahmedabad and I just decided to go and see what the Pajero Sport was all about; pure window shopping with absolutely no intent of going ahead and getting one. Off I went in a GSRTC Volvo, and en-route, I called the Cars24 toll free to register my interest in looking at the Pajero Sport SUVs that were listed. In the meanwhile, I also located Cars24 outlets in Ahmedabad, picking the one that seemed to match with the background featured in the ad pictures of the the two Pajero Sport specimens.

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 19:04.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:06   #2
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Window-Shopping at Ahmedabad (Contd.)

I reached the Cars24 outlet at approx. 11:30am, and was put on call to one sales guy, who said that the 2013 Sport had gone out of town while the 2017 Sport showed a not-so-encouraging report. They were, meanwhile, keen to show me a 2011 Fortuner that was listed for sub-10 lacs. I had nothing to lose by taking a look at the car, but what happened after that was virtual siege - the sales rep was in no mood to allow me the luxury of window shopping and tried every trick up his sleeve to coax me into going ahead with the Fortuner, mentioning, “ Aa gaadi to Zero Zero chhe” ( this car is faultless). After realizing that he was becoming a limpet, I diplomatically told him that although the car was “Zero Zero”, I had to look at other examples before taking a call. He eventually left the place rather sullen, but I couldn’t help it.

Enter salesperson # 2

While I was wrapping up a quick lunch post the “Zero Zero” Fortuner, I got a call from another salesperson of Cars24 mentioning that I had registered my interest for a Pajero Sport on the Cars24 toll free. I then told him that I had just gotten off a Cars24 sales wagon and was told that the 2013 Pajero Sport that was listed wasn’t in town, which he also confirmed. However, he mentioned that one more car had come in for inspection but hadn’t been listed yet and asked me if I was interested in taking a look. I was game, since I had anyways come to Ahmedabad to window-shop.

He promptly sent me photographs of a brown 2012 Pajero Sport which looked quite good on the inside but sported a 2015 facelift grille-bumper combo, leading me to believe that these were replaced due to a shunt. The rear wiper blade seemed like a quick fix, but otherwise the car looked good – one owner, done 1,36,800km. I had nothing to lose and asked him where I could see the car. He was kind enough to give me a landmark close to the residence of the owner, and I reached the place in quick time. While in Ahmedabad, I also realized that this is a city of distances and unforgiving heat.

We then went to the apartment that was a few yards away, and boy, this car looked amazing, save the few dings and scratches. The interiors were tops for a seven year old example.

My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_sideview1.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 19:08.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:20   #3
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Preliminary Inspection

This was the first Pajero Sport I had ever sat in and test driven, and recorded the following:

The Good

• May-2012 registered, from the first lot of Pajero Sport imported from Thailand
• Single owner, comprehensive insurance valid till May-2020
• Zero corrosion
• Non-flooded
• Structurally sound
• Healthy engine- the engine note was clean plus I used a torch to look down the engine through the oil filler port – the engine was quite clean
• I ran the engine on idle, and watched to see how the oil filler cap behaved when just placed on the oil filler port – it didn’t dance indicating that compression leakage was zero. I reconfirmed this by pulling the oil dipstick out – passed this test too
• Original glass all around
• Yokohama Geolandar AT-S tyres all around with manufacture date end 2015 to early 2016. The tread available seemed to suggest that the original Bridgestone Duelers had been replaced with these tyres around the 70,000-75,000 km mark.
•Steering boots and driveshaft boots in good shape
•Suspension in good shape
•All four wheels' brake pads with a lot of life left; discs were in good shape too
• Rear seats were in pristine condition and the front driver seat too was in good shape
• All door inserts were in very good condition
• Interior was, overall, neater than one could expect
• No leaks on the underbody – I looked under the car, much to the owner’s surprise, and found it absolutely clean except for some dust and regular ageing

The Not-so-good

• Front bumper assembly, grille, left headlamp and fog lamps were new plus the radiator panel was slightly bent on the left – these tell tale signs pointed to the vehicle having suffered a minor shunt on the left
• Coolant expansion tank was empty but the radiator was full – not normal but not alarming either
• Radiator inlet neck and inlet tank observed repaired – this confirmed that the car was, indeed, involved in a minor shunt
• AC condenser, radiator panel, AC condenser fan, bonnet were all original, although the bonnet was partly repainted. These led me to infer that the shunt wasn’t bad

Test drive

I took a brief test drive and found the car really good, with no abnormal noise, no steering pull, great power, functional AC, and all controls working – nothing to complain about at all. After a brief chat with the Cars24 rep and the owner, I said I would get back. Remember? I was still window shopping.

The Cars24 rep was kind enough to offer to drop me back at the Nehrunagar Volvo Bus Terminus for me to get transport back home. Meanwhile, he received a call from the owner of the listed 2013 Pajero Sport that he was available around 4pm, and so we decided to meet the car and owner outside a mall midway.

Inspection and test drive of the 2013 Pajero Sport

Armed with some data on the 2012 Pajero Sport that I had just seen, I wasted no time in evaluating the 2013 Sport in just a few minutes. Here’s what I found

• Odometer back clocked to show 70,000km when the car looked like she’d munched a lot of miles
• Four tyres of 3 different makes
• Low quality seat covers on all three rows – possibly to mask deficiencies in the leather seats
• Oil leak from the turbocharger
• One of the driver seat power controller button covers was missing – what an eyesore
• The only saving grace was that this had a stock radiator and drove well

Return to base

Since it was a Sunday evening, and all GSRTC Volvos till 7 pm were full, I decided to scoot to Gita Mandir Bus station, and managed to hop onto an express bus but got no seat. I engaged myself in a conversation with the conductor and never realized how 2hrs 15minutes had passed when I landed in Vadodara.

Research on the Pajero Sport based on my observations

During my inspection of the 2012 Pajero Sport, I noticed that the left top part of the radiator panel bore no Hindustan Motors name plate while the 2013 Sport did. That led me to doubt if the 2012 Sport had its panel replaced. I later discovered that the CBU Pajero Sport came with no nameplate while all those that came later bore the name plate. I reconfirmed this by looking at pictures of many a 2012 Pajero Sport.

Radiator panel samples of a 2012 Pajero Sport - no name plate
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-2012pajerosport_radiatorpanel1.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-2012pajerosport_radiatorpanel2.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-2012pajerosport_radiatorpanel3.jpg

Radiator panel samples of a 2013 and 2017 Pajero Sport - with the name plate
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-2013pajerosport_radiatorpanelwithnameplate.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-2017pajerosport_radiatorpanelwithnameplate.jpg

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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:32   #4
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Soul-searching that evening

I will be absolutely honest in stating that while I did go window shopping with absolutely no intent of even contemplating a purchase, I sure got blown away by the 2012 Pajero Sport that I had just experienced. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to convert an observation into an acquisition, or just leave it as a Sunday well spent. These thoughts kept moving past my head the whole of that evening, but something told me, “Boy, this is the time. Go for it”. I was still not sure, and eventually dozed off.

Monday – and the soul-searching continued

Come Monday and it was the usual grind of getting to work, but the earlier day’s experiences with the Pajero Sport kept flashing across my mind. The Cars24 rep called at 10 and asked me if I thought about the car. I asked him for some time and said I would revert.

Monday – 10 am to 5:15 pm

I then, for the first time, gave the car a serious thought – Go or No Go and listed down the pros and cons of going ahead and making an offer. These are summarized below:


1. The best time to make this decision was then, and in Gujarat, where resale value of cars was generally pits
2. I was already 49, and if that wasn’t an opportune time to realize a long time dream, then when?
3. The Pajero Sport, a much superior product, was then commanding a market value of 1.5-2.0 lacs lower than an equivalent Fortuner – so why hesitate? Go for it
4. I had just gotten rid of a huge financial liability and had some funds to spare for this purchase


1. With uncertainty on my work location/ transfer, was it appropriate to make a purchase decision now?
2. Was it a sensible choice to go for a car that barely enjoyed any spares and service support in India?

With 4 Fors and 2 Againsts, I deliberated again on the 2 Againsts. I remembered the scores of employed professionals who would have just acquired brand new cars, and then be posted overseas for a project or assignment. On the spares availability, there was enough information to suggest that obtaining spares for this car wasn’t a daunting task, given the many suppliers especially in Delhi. Service support – was this a point to even consider? Given that I have maintained all my own and my friends’ cars through FNGs.

I decided to move forward to close in on something I have longed to have, and did it over the next 2 hours. I made a fair assessment of the car, and made an offer which, if turned down, wouldn’t cause me any heartbreak, and that is when I messaged the Cars24 rep with my argument on why I made that offer. He got back after a while stating that my offer was too low and way off the seller’s expected price. I wanted to hold my ground as much as possible but at the same time didn’t want to just close the dialogue and the chapter. I upped my offer in two steps – first by 20k, and the second by just 10k, and told the rep that that was the best I could do. I said if this was acceptable, I was willing to hand over a cheque for the full amount and take the car the very same day (knowing that no owner would part with the car till funds are realized). I knew that I had stretched the deal to its limit. I am no stud negotiator but having bought used cars from 1998 for myself and having helped friends get some decent ones, I knew the end point of a deal and also could gauge the number on the seller’s mind. It has also been my principle NOT to take advantage of the seller’s situation ever. (This wasn’t the case here but just making a statement).

The seller was then put on conference, and it turned out that both of us had accounts with the same bank, and that made it easy for him to find out if my cheque could get cleared instantly. My offer was 15k lower than his rock bottom expectation but he still went ahead and asked me to write out a cheque and send him an image (I know why he wanted it – just to check if the thing would get cleared).

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 19:15.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:45   #5
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Monday - 5:15pm to 9:30pm – the run up to an action packed delivery experience

I went back home a little early, and wrote this cheque out as requested by the seller, sent him the image and waited for his confirmation.

Monday - 7:15pm – delivery confirmed

The Cars24 rep called at 7:15pm stating that I could come and take delivery of the vehicle at Ahmedabad. By then I had already kept approx. 1.5 litres of Toyota genuine pink coolant ready, to use a portion of that to top up in the coolant expansion tank of the Pajero Sport. Once the Cars24 rep confirmed, I booked an Uber Intercity cab and was in Ahmedabad at the seller’s residence by 9:25pm.

Monday 9:45-10:30pm – The Pajero Sport is finally mine

The seller had initially told the Cars24 rep that although he would deliver the car the same day, he would hand over documents only the following day after realization of payment. I was, however, in for a surprise when he handed over

1. both keys
2. a file containing the original invoice of the car, even the bill for original accessories at purchase, all insurance policies, a few initial service bills, and the receipt for the HSRP
3. original RC, PUC
4. the car with an almost full tank of fuel

Since it was a pretty quick development, he said that the owner manual and a few other items were lying in his second office and that either he would arrange to send those over OR I could come and collect them at the next opportunity. He even had images of the owner manual.

He gave me a demo of the car, its “features”, plus showed me the compartment in the boot that had the warning triangle, the spare bulbs, a sun shield, plus the old acrylic number plates too. The Cars24 rep had the transfer of ownership forms signed, and they said they would undertake the transfer of ownership for which I would need to pay and I was fine with the arrangement. The Cars24 rep handed me the Delivery note and a receipt duly signed.

Meanwhile, the car took approx. 800ml of coolant in the expansion tank and another approx. 200ml in the radiator and I was all set. By approx. 10:30pm, I was on my way back to Vadodara in that behemoth. This was the first time in my several years of ownership and pseudo-ownership (where I helped fiends acquire cars) that I took delivery of a car late night.

The first drive

I stopped at a roadside restaurant between Narol and CTM Crossroads in Ahmedabad to have something to eat – it was an Uttappam which tasted like Amrit. A cup of tea and I was all set to take the short drive back to Vadodara via NE-1.

The car was an absolute delight to drive, given its great dynamics for a Body -on-frame machine, superior torque, excellent NVH and brilliant headlights. I was finally home by 01:15am Tuesday and truly enjoyed driving this car in my speed range of 90-100kmph.

So, in 8 hours of sealing a deal, I had waited for the seller confirmation, made a dash to Ahmedabad, got the car, had dinner, and driven back home, all in the night. If this isn’t action packed delivery, what else is?

On NE-1
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_expressway.jpg

On arrival at Vadodara
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_arrival.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 18:41.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:19   #6
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Initial impressions

It had started raining two days after I got the Pajero Sport home, and I could just sit high up like a king and enjoy the way this car would drive through rains. It was a surreal experience – unbelievable !!


1. Commanding view of the road
2. Brilliant fuel efficiency
3. Zero fatigue
4. Great drive-ability and a great highway sprinter - the 2.5L 4D56 engine is a jewel in this department; 100kmph at a relaxed 2000rpm in absolute silence
5. Good brakes
6. Fantastic turning radius
7. Rough road expert
8. Flexible seating options in the second and third row – the third row can be folded to make a flat floor with acres of boot space
9. Brilliant fog lights which more than make up for the about average halogen projector low headlamp and halogen reflector type high headlamp
10.tastefully done interiors


1. Hard clutch but got used to it the way I did in the 2005 Corolla H5
2. Dashboard rattle

Other observations

1. Although the front of the Pajero Sport has a much stronger structure, the air path for the Pajero Sport radiator is rather cramped compared to the Fortuner. This might prove to be a downer especially when the radiator efficiency drops.
2. The engine layout is also cramped and leaves little room for heat dissipation.
3. The wheel well of the Pajero Sport has two thin rubber flaps on the portion between the wheel and the engine side – these flaps can be removed to allow easy access to maintain or clean engine accessories
eg. on the left: On AC compressor low side port, high pressure diesel pump side, starter motor, brake lines
on the right: alternator, oil cooler, oil filter, power steering hoses

Airpath of the Fortuner vs Pajero Sport - note how tightly packed the Pajero Sport is
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-fortuner_airpath.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_crampedairpath1.jpg

Wheel well - right side with removable rubber flaps
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_frontrightwheelwell.jpg

Wheel well - left side with removable flaps
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_frontleftwheelwell1.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_frontleftwheelwell2.jpg

Meanwhile, I made a dash one rainy day to Ahmedabad and collected the Owner Manual, dealer network booklet (both neatly tucked away in a soft case), the original dash kit for the MID, the original CD player and a few other frame fitments. Except the Versa, which was just 7 months old when I acquired the car, no other car owner in GJ that I had dealt with this far had preserved and handed over everything that the car came with.

On the fuel efficiency front, here are some statistics that I recorded over the next few months

a. AC on at 100 kmph on highway 13.5 kmpl
b. AC off at 90 kmph on highway 15.5-16.0 kmpl
c. AC off at 70-75kmph on highway 19.5 kmpl
d. City with AC 11.5-12.5 kmpl based on traffic.

100kmph @2000rpm
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_100kmph.jpg

Fuel Efficiency at 100kmph with AC on half the time
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_mid_oct2019.jpg

Fuel Efficiency in non-AC mode at 80-90kmph
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_mid_nov2019.jpg

Fuel Efficiency at 70-75 kmph
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_mid_70kmph.jpg


On one of my trips to Surat in Oct-2019, I got

1. the front beam and the skid plate painted dull black,
2. the front bumper modified to create a wider slot to house the HSRP,and
3. mesh installed inside the front lower grille.
Click image for larger version

Name:	PajeroSport_crampedairpath1.jpg
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My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_crampedairpath2.jpg

Random Shots of the interior
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_interior.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_4h4l.jpg

Random Shots of the exterior
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_frontview.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_sideview3.jpg
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosport_rear1.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 19:33.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:28   #7
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Overheating en-route to Mumbai – Nov-2019

We had to make an important trip to Mumbai in Nov-2019, and a few hours before scheduled departure, we found that our train tickets hadn’t gotten confirmed. I am not a habitual long distance driver, but had to decide to take the Pajero Sport early the next morning to Mumbai. What I was going to experience the following day was that this trip was just jinxed.

1. An hour and fifteen minutes into departure from Vadodara, we got caught in a bad traffic hold up at Asuria, a few kms short of Bharuch. This hold up lasted over an hour and a half and as we passed the affected spot, I was witness to a gory accident wherein a bus that had collided with a chemical tanker had gotten completely charred, and a few passengers inside had met their fiery grave.

2. It was already four hours gone when we passed Kamrej, the first junction on the outskirts of Surat. Having lost a lot of time, we had to take an unscheduled lunch break at Chikhli, approx. 200km from Vadodara

3. At one toll plaza near Bhilad, I was waiting for cars in the adjacent lane to cross since the truck ahead of me had broken down, and I see this ruffian RJ-14 Innova swiping my left fender and blaming me for it stating that 90% of his car had crossed and that I had jutted into his path. I had to explain to him that I was waiting for cars to cross and all cars before his had crossed over comfortably and that I was in no way responsible for an error that he had committed. Since I was firm with my argument, he must have realized it was his fault, muttered something and left.

4. Somewhere short of Charoti, I found that the AC had stopped cooling and then realized that the temperature gauge indicator was at the 80% mark. My heart missed a beat as this was the first time in my 28 plus years of automotive experience that I was experiencing this with a viscous clutch driven fan. I pulled over a little ahead at a wayside Dhaba and found that the coolant expansion tank was full. I used the opportunity to have a cup of tea and allow the radiator to cool in the meanwhile. After 20 minutes, I pulled out all the coolant from the expansion tank into a bottle, and added that back into the radiator. Some extra Bisleri was also used since I had no distilled water with me.

5. I then continued to drive in non-AC mode. Exactly 1hr 15minutes later, on the Vasai bridge, the temperature gauge indicator started rising again, and this time, I stopped right across an IndianOil bunk just past the Fountain Hotel junction and got 2 litres of coolant and four bottles of distilled water. Once again, I removed coolant from the expansion tank and added it back to the radiator, but this time, I had coolant and distilled water so used a little of that for top up. I eventually reached my destination, Parel, in 10hrs 15minutes after I left Vadodara

Inspection at Parel and the return drive

The next morning, I inspected the expansion tank and found it was empty; topped up some coolant in the radiator and ran the car just to check if my worst fear viz. symptoms of a head gasket failure was evident, and there was none of that. I just did not know what was going on. That afternoon, we left Parel at approx. 1:30pm, but decided it was going to be Non-AC all the way to Vadodara until I was sure about why the car was overheating.

1. Exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes into the drive, a little after the Vasai bridge, the temperature gauge indicated a rise in coolant temperature but it did not cross 80%. At Khaniwade toll, I was requested by the toll agent if I could drop two toll plaza employees at Charoti and I agreed. The car did the 50km distance to Charoti with me doing 85-90kmph, keeping an eye on the temperature gauge. It did climb past 80% but would settle down too at 70% levels when the car was at a steady speed. I successfully managed to drop the toll plaza employees as scheduled, and then stopped the car right after the toll plaza for the same procedure – cool, remove coolant from tank, and add back to the radiator. I had covered 120km from Parel.

2. The second “overheating” stop was at Hotel Vishram, Killa Pardi, approx. 190km out of Parel; we had some sandwiches, tea and I then performed the coolant transfer, as usual

3. Same overheating issue at Navsari, approx. 60km ahead and this time, I opened the radiator cap a little too fast and the cap flew off into the wilderness. It was dark and I just couldn’t find it. I eventually drove the car back on the same side of the highway, and located a spare parts store from where I got a spare cap; lost almost 1 hour in this episode.

4. I performed the rest of the journey limiting the car’s speed to 60-65kmph and found the temperature surprisingly under control. I was able to drive on for over 2 hours before we broke for dinner at a highway hotel at Palej. I had covered 370km.

5. The final run to Vadodara was uneventful, although with the temperature gauge at 70-80% and we managed the return drive from Mumbai to Vadodara in some 9.5 hours. This included the one hour lost at Navsari due to a lost radiator cap.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:36   #8
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re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Why did the coolant system overheat?

Post this drive, I also observed that the temperature gauge would indicate above normal temperatures even on drives as low as 15 km within city limits. Once the car picked up speed and ran at a steady 60-70kmph, the temperature would remain in the 70% range but wouldn’t go up unless the car slowed down.

I scheduled a trip to Surat in the next few days and drove the car at 70-75kmph in non AC mode, and was able to do the 170km distance without stopping. The temperature, however would remain in the 70-80% range with the speed steady, and climb a little higher when the vehicle was slowing down or waiting at toll plazas.

On arrival at Surat, the following were checked:
1. Idle run of the car with engine cold and upto 40% on gauge and radiator cap open – no symptoms of a head gasket issue
2. Fan clutch was observed to show resistance and hence a weak fan clutch was ruled out
3. The coolant was finally removed and that showed no signs of degradation OR potential to clog the radiator
4. Thermostat wasn’t seen at the head outlet elbow, we assumed it had been removed since the car would take a long time to attain operating temperature viz. 50% of gauge. It was later discovered that the thermostat is housed at the block bottom elbow (water pump suction side)
5. Water pump circulation was really good

Finally we decided to have the radiator removed and serviced to check for potential fouling – the unit showed no fouling whatsoever when its channels were inspected. So, the ghost that caused overheating could not be exorcised.

However, here came a surprise – we fixed the radiator back, added new Servo Kool Plus long life coolant with a concentration of 50%, and all seemed very well. The car was run in a standstill mode with AC on and the engine rpm at varying levels of idle to 2500rpm for a good two hours – the temperature gauge indication rose to 50% gradually and remained rock steady there. The coolant expansion tank showed no coolant boil over, nothing. I knew there was something unsolved but decided to drive back to Vadodara after this two hour exercise. The return drive of 170km was absolutely uneventful and immediately on arrival, I checked the expansion tank level and found it absolutely steady.

This normal behaviour continued all the way from Nov-2019 into all of 2020, even when the car faced long shutdowns twice – first 50 days from 22 March 2020 courtesy lockdown, and the second 70 days from late Oct-2020 to early Jan-2021 when I was camping in TN. The mystery of overheating, however, remained unsolved and was causing me some worry, although the car was behaving perfectly fine.

Radiator outlet tank opened for service - no fouling observed
My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?-pajerosportradiator_1.jpg

Maintenance expenses – Aug-2019 to Dec-2020

A: Radiator service and coolant replacement INR 1450
B: Standby coolant (just for safety) INR 550
C: AC compressor seal, clutch set (coil, pulley and disc) plus refrigerant recharge INR 9850
D; Battery Amaron 105D31L INR 5100

TOTAL : INR 16,950

Note: The compressor seal and the battery were thanks to lockdown when this car was parked at a location inaccessible to me for 50 days. The battery, although revived using a laptop charger, was anyways on its last legs at 3 years 9 months and lasted barely a month more. The compressor seal failed due to the compressor being idle for 50 days – the seal was as old as the car which had done over 1,40,000kms by then but the AC was working perfectly until March 2020.

Was this the end of the overheating saga?

Stay tuned for Part-2 !!

Last edited by vigsom : 2nd March 2021 at 18:39.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:36   #9
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Will go to our homepage today .
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:01   #10
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Stay tuned for Part-2 !!
Let me be the first person to congratulate you. Any enthusiast's dream SUV this is.

Wishing you happy miles. Please keep updating the thread.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:35   #11
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Congratulations sir. The Pajero sport is a very good car and my personal favorite. Really enjoyed reading through your purchase and ownership experience so far. Was also pleasantly surprised by the fuel efficiency figures. Would request you to share an approximate purchase price if you are ok with that. Congratulations again and wishing you a great ownership experience going forward too.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:47   #12
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Good choice of car, and your writeup makes for an interesting read. I like the analytical approach you have taken to assessing the car as well as diagnosing the issues faced.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:53   #13
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Probably too late to congratulate you for the car, but congratulations on this thread. Been a long time coming this one and there's an even longer way to go in what lies ahead with respect to part 2

Having experienced your car, the one thing I can testify is that this handles and rides like no other body on frame SUV of its time. The old Endeavour had ancient leaf springs at the back, the Fortuner had poor brakes and was too bouncy, while the Rexton felt very floaty at triple digit speeds. I found the Pajero Sport to be the best of the lot. The ride does make you realise it's a body on frame, but even smaller bumps and potholes are absorbed with aplomb at low speeds. The ride quality actually gets better as the speedo climbs. Not something I thought I would say about a ladder frame.

The front seats sit very high with respect to the ground, but are actually low as compared to the floor pan. This gives you a very commanding view of the road ahead. The 2.5 4D56 has excellent refinement too.

All in all, I would say this is quite an underrated car for its time. I do have a bone of contention to pick though with respect to the product itself; I don't quite understand why Mitsubishi deleted rear discs from the automatic, and nor do I understand how the best of Japanese engineers could not understand basic engine cooling characteristics and make such slip ups.

Wishing you many more happy miles with her, and waiting for the second part eagerly.

Last edited by vishy76 : 3rd March 2021 at 10:59.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 11:13   #14
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Congratulations on your car - looks really good.

I am also planning to buy a used Pajero sport Automatic in Bangalore. The asking price is in the range of 13 L to 14.5 L for 2015-2016 Models. Could any one tell what would be the best price for this vintage?
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Old 3rd March 2021, 12:15   #15
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Re: My pre-owned Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Love it or Loathe it?

Excellent Thread! I loved reading all the way through! I especially love when previous owners preserve all the original manuals and paperwork the way it came form the factory. Usually means that they cared for their vehicle well!

I too currently use a 2004 Corolla, and my next dream upgrade would be an old Fortuner! I must say the Pajero Sport is also a very competent all rounder, and can hold its own even against the Big-T. The only issue might be spare parts, but I am curious to see how it goes during your ownership! All the best with this car and wishing many happy and adventurous miles with you Mitsu!

Regarding the overheating, I have a theory, but of course I cannot confirm. Its possible when you topped up the coolant on the day of purchase, some air bubbles may have been trapped in the line somewhere. This would result in a air lock in the coolant system, which would prevent the proper recirculation of it. When everything was taken apart and refilled from scratch, the air bubbles would probably have been bled out. The symptoms you mention seem to be consistent with air in coolant issues. If thats the case, you should have nothing to worry about any more with respect to over heating!
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